Behind The Beat: Swiff D
Swiff D was the one kid in Ontario, California who was listening to Biggie growing up. "You could walk down the block and hear a whole Suga Free album from like 15 boom boxes simultaneously," he says of the West Coast fixation of his neighborhood. "My main thing was not wanting to sound like what everyone else did, but making sure people knew where I came from."
New Marvel Hip Hop Variants: ScHoolboy Q, Tyler, the Creator, Chance the Rapper, & More
Marvel is back with a giant batch of hip hop variant covers. No need to dawdle, let's jump right in. Here they are in order of appearance: Nova #1 by Christian Ward | Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book Champions #1 by Rahzzah | Wu-Tang Clan's Iron Flag Cage! #1 by Marco D’Alfonso | LL Cool J's Bigger & Deffer Foolkiller #1 by Jeffrey Veregge | Insane Clown Posse’s The Great Milenko
Kevin Gates Motion To Dismiss Florida Battery Case Is Denied
Last summer, many winced as they watched footage of Kevin Gates viciously delivering a kick to the chest of a teenage female fan, who had been pulling on his shorts while he was performing near the front of the stage at a venue in Lakeland, Florida. Within a week of the incident, he was charged with battery. Earlier this year, Gates turned some heads when he invoked Florida's Stand Your Ground law -- most infamously used to justify George Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin -- to argue that the charges against him should be dropped on the basis that he acted in self-defense.
14 Rappers Who Play Pokemon Go
Whether or not Pokemon Go is a fad or a permanent institution, it has captured the hearts and minds of people around the globe. Rappers are not immune to its powers, and many have taken to the streets on their quest to catch 'em all. Of course, there are just as many detractors as there are addicts. Charlamagne tha God recently anointed Pokemon Go players his “Donkey of the Day” and many rappers share his sentiment that the game can be dangerous and is a distraction from larger issues at hand.
9 Ways Hip Hop Artists Have Reacted To Recent Violence
The fiber of the American people has been tested over the course of the last two weeks, in which four incidents of terrible violence have prompted wide-spread protests and rapidly deteriorating race relations. July 5: Alton Sterling is shot and killed at the hands of two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana July 6: Philando Castile is shot and killed by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota July 7: Five police officers are shot and killed at a protest in Dallas. July 17: Three police officers are shot and killed in Baton Rouge, LA.
Kevin Gates Condones Murder Of Baton Rouge Police Officers
The most recent episode in what has been extraordinary month of violence in the United States occurred Sunday when an ex-marine shot and killed three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Top 20 Projects Of 2016 (So Far)
In the midst of a year that was already challenging peoples' definitions of mixtapes, albums, and "free" projects, Chance The Rapper asked, "Am I the only n*gga who still cares about a mixtape?" On the surface, it made sense-- Chance is one of the few top-tier artists who've never sold a single copy of his internet-only projects-- but as his latest, Coloring Book, was released exclusively via a deal with Apple Music, both his independent claim and the definition of "mixtape" were subsequently scrutinized.
Charts Don't Lie: June 22
Drake continues his dominance as VIEWS spends its seventh week now at the #1 spot. The 6 God is showing no signs of slowing down, and even a new release from Nick Jonas and a surge from The Cast of Hamilton couldn't dethrone him, although they were enough to nudge Beyonce back a couple spots. Elsewhere, the list looks very similar to previous weeks: Rihanna sticking at the #6 spot, appearances from Kanye, Prince, Bryson Tiller, G-Eazy, and The Weeknd.
The "Suicide Squad" Soundtrack Includes Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Kevin Gates & More
The star-studded upcoming film "Suicide Squad" is currently hogging much of this summer's box-office buzz. Based on the DC Comics team of antiheroes who take the same name, "Suicide Squad" will star Jared Leto, Will Smith, Cara Delevigne, Ben Affleck, and more. The film also happens to have quite the soundtrack, featuring number of hip-hop elites as well as some unexpected cross-genre collaborations.
Charts Don't Lie: June 8
Once again, Drake snags the #1 spot this week with VIEWS, his fourth studio album that continues to beat out the competition. Beyonce moves into #3 after an appearance at #4 last week (it should be noted that she also just went Platinum with Lemonade, alongside Future's DS2
The NYC Edition Of Roots Picnic Includes Wu-Tang Clan, D'Angelo, Kevin Gates & More
Among the many festivals that went down this past weekend (although some experienced a few setbacks due to the weather), The Roots' annual Roots Picnic took place in Philedelphia.
Review: Kevin Gates' "Murder For Hire 2"
The current landscape of streaming equivalent-inclusive sales numbers and streaming corporation-backed releases has considerably muddled our perception of commercial success in hip hop this year.
Stream Jim Jones' Album "The Kitchen"
Jim Jones appears to spend most of his time these days lifting weights and playing basketball. But he still makes time in his busy to schedule to record new music. After delivering his Miami Vampin mixtape around this time last year, the Dipset alum delivered his new album this morning: The Kitchen. Jones turns 40 next month. But he's still got it!!
Staff Picks Playlist (May 27)
Perhaps this week's playlist won't be as useful as usual, as most rap fans will likely have GuWop on repeat all weekend in celebration of the Trap God's surprise release from prison yesterday. He had been locked up for three years, and unsurprisingly, he recorded a track on his first day out, aptly titled "First Day Out Tha Feds," produced by his reliable longtime collaborator Mike Will Made-It.
Listen To Kevin Gates "Murder For Hire 2"
Sticking to his word, Kevin Gates comes through tonight and releases his newly-announced Murder For Hire 2 project on iTunes.
Kevin Gates Announces Release Date For "Murder For Hire 2"
It looks the sequel to Kevin Gates’ Murder For Hire project is right around the corner. Moments ago, the Louisiana rapper took to his Instagram to announce that it’s dropping this Friday, just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend. “I really apologize for the wait but Murder for Hire  will be dropping Friday on the 27th,” Kevin Gates said in the IG post.
Top Tracks: May 9 - May 15
In contrast with the first few months of 2015, when it seemed like our Top Tracks lists were just the same Kanye and Drake tracks rising and falling with each ensuing week, the past few editions have been utter chaos, with the #1 spot changing every week. Staying power is proving difficult to achieve in an increasingly crowded summer playing field-- Beyoncé and Birdman's chart-toppers from two and one week ago, respectively, are nowhere to be found this week, although a few of the lower-ranking tracks stuck it out.
Hey Mama: Ty Dolla $ign, Wiz Khalifa & Others Reveal Their First Big Purchase For Their Mom
Mother's Day has always been one of our most cherished holidays. How do rappers celebrate their mothers? We asked 13 rappers what they bought their mom after they received their first big check. See how they showed their mommas love below and be sure to let your mom know you love her today. *** Ty Dolla $ign "After receiving my first big check, I bought my mom some diamonds and helped fund some updates for her house. I still contribute each day, just so she knows that my appreciation for her has no end."
Who's Going On Tour? Spring/Summer Tour Round-Up
A lot of big artists are going on tour this spring and summer. You have mega-stars like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Drake. You have rising stars Anderson .Paak and Bas. You have established vets like Snoop Dogg, Maxwell, and Cam'Ron. And everybody in between. It looks like some legendary tours are going down towards the end of the calendar year. Gucci Mane & Friends tour is scheduled to go down when La Flare gets released from prison in September and Kanye West is also shooting to kick off his The Life of Pablo tour in September as well.
Kevin Gates On Kobe Bryant: "That N*gga A Rat"
Last night, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant ended his 20-year career with an incredible 60-point performance in a victory over the Utah Jazz. Sports fans everywhere tearfully watched him put on a show for the last time in the Staples Center, and a noted group of hip-hop elites, including Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, and Kanye West, appeared courtside for the game to pay their respects.